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Roche Miette
Jasper National Park, Alberta
June 24, 2005

This should have been a short trip but a navigation error at the start took us out of the way. Following the book's instruction, minutes after starting out, Dinah and I headed up a side trail marked with a cairn. How were we to know that since the book's publication another side trail appeared before the correct turnoff?

This trail took us up the left bank of a drainage, dropped over a ridge and down to a stream. I knew we had to cross this second drainage yet the trail didn't continue on the other side. After spending several minutes looking for the trail, we gave up and bushwhacked up a steep slope. This put us on the crest of the ridge and on the right trail.

We ran into no more difficulties except for mountain sheep that barred the way and were reluctant to move. One in particular lowered his horns and glared at me. I feared we would have to butt heads, but he backed down and trotted away. Good thing as I didn't want to hurt him.

After a pleasant hike along the ridge we dropped down to the saddle and started scrambling up the steep slopes of the north side of Roche Miette. Trails and colourful flagging abounded and left no doubt which way to go. We soon topped out on an undulating plateau and headed to the highest point and the summit cairn.

On the return trip we followed the proper trail all the way back to see where we went wrong. I noticed, though, that there appeared to be good scree running down from the saddle to the drainage that we had crossed. The side trail that we incorrectly hiked up could be used as an alternate fast return. Or so I thought until Troy Rossmann corrected me. He's done it and found that the ground was compacted and not scree at all. He suspects it would take longer as a descent route. But for the approach, be sure to take the second side trail and not the first! The correct side trail starts near the top of a rise.

MOVIE (posted on YouTube)
KML and GPX Tracks

View of Roche Miette from the trailhead

These lady slippers, orchids actually, are abundant

Eroded cliffs behind us

Roche Miette looms large in our sites

Following the ascent ridge

Hiking up the scree

Looking back along the ridge

We passed a disintegrating rock wall

These sheep were reluctant to give way to us

Athabasca River runs below

View from just above the saddle. From here, we worked our way left and up.

Leaving the saddle. Below is Brule Lake.

Plodding up the scree

Almost on the summit plateau

Crossing the plateau to reach the summit

On the summit

Heading back

Looking back at the summit

Driving back we spotted these mountain goats

83 F/4 Miette

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